We’re a week away from Halloween. Whilst some won’t be a fan, it does mean that we’re edging closer to Christmas. In fact we’re at the time of year where the rush to get windows and doors fit before Christmas starts. Always a busy period. So lets take a minute to skim through some of the stories on DGB this week and catch up on some of the things I covered.

The Rise Of The Industry App

Monday saw me cover the rise of the industry apps. We’re seeing more and more of them pop up now, which for me is only a good thing as its a sign that the industry really is moving with the times. Something it always hasn’t done.

When you think about how many new products are being released right now, it must be a pain for all the marketing people out there. Each time a new door or window product is announced, the current crop of printed material such as leaflets, brochures etc are all instantly out of date. So new versions have to be printed, which costs a lot of time and money, then get distributed to all customers. Then in a few months time the process might have to be repeated again. It’s a never ending cycle.

I’m very much an IT nerd. I love tech, gadgets and good apps, so this sort of subject is right up my street. I have reviewed the MACO app earlier on in the year, which you can read here. I am going to start reviewing more, specifically the Solidor and Eurocell apps. These should be live before Christmas, so keep an eye out for those.

The National Companies Are Vital To The Industry

On Tuesday I tackled the potentially thorny issue of the national companies and their importance to the industry overall. Not everyone likes the national companies or the way they do business. But it was their industry activities, such as marketing and the pushing of new products which I wanted to explore.

Everest, Safestyle and Anglian all have major budgets to spend on things like TV campaigns. Now admittedly Everest and Anglian make the better adverts out of the three, therefore they have more impact I feel. The Safestyle ads tend to irritate quite a lot of people. But one effect all that advertising does have is it energises the market. Although their aim is to create leads for their companies, the general topic of new windows and doors gets brought up, inspiring a percentage of homeowners to seek window and door installers local to their area. No other group of companies in this industry has that sort of influence – we should look forward to them advertising!

The focus on national companies has increased over the past few weeks, what with the Anglian push on triple glazing and a scrappage scheme, Safestyle’s banning of their old adverts and Everest’s new training facility marking a different direction for the business. I thought it timely to bring up such a subject.

The Problem With Electronic Hardware

Wednesday I indulged myself again in technology, this time tackling the issue of the potential hacking by IT-savvy criminals on electronic door hardware. For this I used the August app controlled door lock and included a demo video:

As the Internet of Things continues to grow and home automation gets easier to get our heads round, there are going to be more and more appliances that we’ll be able to control from our phones and tablets, including our doors. As an example, here is a product that you can buy from Apple called the August. It’s a device fitted to your door that allows you to lock and unlock the door as you walk up to it via their app:

Don’t get me wrong, I love gadgets and being able to control things from my gadgets. However I do think we need to be thinking about the potential for hackers more seriously. Nigel gave his opinion:

Ah, but there is a key difference.

I have to be there to break in. A hacker doesn’t. The hacker can find the weak security system then go to those places that have that lock installed and let themselves in at no risk.
Think of it as making a masterkey for a type of lock then trying doors at random until one opens. Except you can try from down the road or even across the water.

No, nearly every IoT device is wide open. And security is normally lacking from both IT & physical sides, too!

Can Kolorseal Help Boost Coloured Roofline?

Next up was a featured post from DGB residents Kolorseal. Given their expertise in the colouring of PVC and aluminium products, I wanted to explore the idea that a business like Kolorseal could help facilitate the jump to more coloured roofline products.

I think when it comes to roofline products, the focus on design hasn’t always been there, but there are options out there. Take for example what Kolorseal do and what they can do to the roofline products they stock.

They hold a large stock of foiled and smooth roofline products. They can be sprayed to any colour, in either the RAL and Farrow & Ball ranges, to create a completely different look to the product. So imagine you have just installed a house full of Chartwell Green windows and doors on a period property that has a very specific brick colour. White soffits and fascias might not look so good. But Chartwell Green soffits and fascias will.

I very rarely see non-white roofline products, other than Rosewood or Light Oak, yet when I do see them, they do look really impressive on the right house.

Safestyle Air New TV Ad

I simply could not pass up the opportunity to comment on this…


Yes, this is the new Safestyle UK TV advert, replacing the ones that had been banned earlier in the year by the ASA. Although it had already been out a little while, I only saw it the first time for myself the other day. It’s done in their style, but is probably legal again. Not much else to say really.

The Christmas Rush Begins

Lastly, to end the week, I wanted to look ahead to the last 7 weeks of the working year. I know it might be a bit early for some for me to be mentioning the C word, but I don’t really care, we’ve all worked hard and I think we can afford to look forward to ending the year! However, I also wanted to take a look at some of the difficulties at that time of year too.

As businesses, we always try to accommodate everyone don’t we? We’ll find a way to fit them in before we say no to them. But we can’t always do that. Indeed I am seeing companies online saying that they are now scheduling in jobs for January 2015. Whilst that is impressive, that’s about a 10-12 week lead time depending on the time of month. I do wonder if that sort of lead time is too much? Would it not be worth getting another fitting team in to shave that down a couple of weeks?

I promise I’ll try to keep the mentioning of Christmas to a minimum…until at least Bonfire night ;-)

Elsewhere in the industry…

Honestly, nothing that major that I feel I need to put here, so lets see what next week brings!